WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair spoke with Sports Illustrated to discuss the legacy of Gene Okurlund in pro wrestling as well as his personal brotherhood with Mean Gene. Check out highlights below.
“Friend would be too generic a term for us. We were more than friends, we were brothers. We were tied to each other for years. If I was going somewhere, and I knew Gene Okerlund was there, I made sure I found him.”
Mean Gene's Impact on Wrestling:
“In my opinion, Gene Okerlund added more entertainment to the business than anybody. Gene made our product better. You can be good at what you do, but Gene was so good that he made the people around him better. Gene brought that to every segment he was on for his entire career. It’s hard to explain how much talent he had. Gene was entertainment-ready, witty beyond belief, sophisticated, and I’ve never seen anybody else like him.”
“Gene just never missed. Even if a guy was struggling or a crowd wasn’t connecting, Gene had the gift to make interviews work. He was a wonderful person, he loved his kids, he loved his wife, and he loved what he did for a living. I’m happy that the world is giving him his due recognition. I’ve been so depressed all day thinking about it. It’s a huge loss. There will never, ever be another Gene Okerlund.”